The Instigator
Conspicuous_Conservative
Con (against)
Losing
28 Points
The Contender
Logical-Master
Pro (for)
Winning
35 Points

Should a public school district be allowed to offer children money for good grade?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/22/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,242 times Debate No: 2070
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (17)

 

Conspicuous_Conservative

Con

I was reading a story in last Sunday's addtion of the New York Times. In this article I saw that a number of school districts would like to implement a program that would give children money for good grades in school up to 500 dollars per school year.

I like to keep my first round arguments concise in order to see in which direction the argument will go. Although I feel that this program and many other social programs have creators who have their heart in the right place, I really only see these programs working in a world that in which government programs are not exploited by lazy people or individuals who are immoral. Listen children are suppose to go to school they are their in order to get a proper education with the incentive being the ability to attend college possibly on a scholarship and eventually end up in a successful career.

Their are so many avenues in which we can debate this topic I would like to know why must we bribe children to suceed, it is the loss of drive and work ethic that has made our country fall well below education levels of countries across the world.
Logical-Master

Pro

Greetings.

First, I'd like to thank my opponent for extending this challenge to any debater and I look forward to how he goes about this issue. Second, I'd like to say that none of what I am about to say reflects my actual opinion on this matter. I ask that you vote based on who presented the better arguments rather than what falls under your personal beliefs of who presented the most text. Finally, I implore you to let the logic in the actual debate sway you into determining your vote rather than what is said in the comment section. With formalities out of the way, onto my opponent's case.

First, my opponent states that children are supposed to go to school to get a proper education with incentive of possibly being able to attend college and get a successful career. This is true, but what is there to suggest that annual payment would deter this incentive? Also, wouldn't such motivation to get good grades increase a student's overall chances of attending a good college with a good scholarship as well as the inevitability of getting a good career?

My opponent's claim of this being bribery and thus being unjust contradicts a premise in his previous claim. After all, by his same logic, wouldn't college scholarships also be considered bribery and therefore unjust? I'll give my opponent until the next round to clarify on this.

As for the implication of this new program being equated to the loss of drive/ work ethic generalization which my opponent makes, there's really nothing to suggest that rewarding student's for their hard work would deter their drive/work ethic when it comes to succeeding. If anything, it would only increase it when a beneficial reward is taken into account.

Now, I'll add a point of my own.

Payment would help deter high school dropout rates. Lets face facts: One of the main reasons for academic weakness as well as inevitable drop outs is poverty. Many students end up having to put there family before their studies. Source: http://www.npr.org.... Since many students value their families so much, helping them financially through getting good grades would help in deterring these students from ultimately dropping out.

I'll expand on these arguments when I see the expansion which my opponent suggested he would make.

I now stand ready for my opponent's first rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
Conspicuous_Conservative

Con

Well first I would like to welcome my opponent to this debate, it is always refreshing to have an individual that is polite and knowledgeable to debate. I also agree that instead of putting your personal and political preferences to the for front I beg you please vote on the better debate.

My opponent started off his argument by bringing up a good point, " wouldn't such motivation to get good grades increase a student's overall chances of attending a good college with a good scholarship". It is a very good point, a little extra money could help these children to work harder. The problem with this program is that it is yet another attempt by the government to redistribute money into the school system. This law will only offer this money to those students that attend public school. Why would i bring that up you may ask? Well very simple, parents of students attending public school will have to pay a tax increase to support public school children and the children of their own will never see a dime of that money. Now that to me seems a little unfair. You miss quoted me a little in your second paragraph I never send it would take away children's incentive by earning a little extra money I simply stated that incentive for children to be successful in life should be plenty.

My opponent brings up an interesting point, he claims that these bonuses are just like school scholarships. This is an argument I hear often, but it is a large difference from a scholarship and this proposed money for grades program. Although both are earned through the hard work and studying of an individual but my friend there is a large difference from a grade incentive program and a scholarship.

SCHOLARSHIPS:

- Earned through 12 years of good school work.
- Combines school work, test scores, and extra curricular activities
- School of choice usually pays, or a private organization pays for.
- Very difficult to earn.

New Incentive Program:

- Earned for a good GPA on a single report card.
- Based solely on GPA.
- Is paid for by taxpayers.
- Fairly simple to earn.

Scholarships are basically a lifetime of achievements in addition to many forms of extra curricular work while this is a pay off for children. Now do not misunderstand I do not want to demonize the good will intended by this law but I just see this as governments reaching deeper into the pockets of Americans and schools trying to force children to get good grades in an attempt to promote how good their school is.

I really find this offensive in addition to the government trying to reach deeper in our pockets I also see this as another attempt on the governments behalf to raise our children. Laws mandating universal pre-schooling, laws prohibiting spanking and now they want to take the job in rewarding someone's child when does it stop. It is a parents place to reward their child not the schools.

Now I understand my opponents need to make his first round argument concise so I will not delve to deep into this until after he puts in his points. He brings up a relatively good point that many people must drop out of school in order to support their families. In theory it sounds good but common this program is just offering a little amount of money, basically like allowance from a parent. This is very unlikely to to prevent someone in poverty from dropping out. If an income is that bad I seriously doubt that 20-50 dollars a semester will serve as a supplemental income. I apologize about my late response I work full time and school full time so it is hard to find time to respond. WIll be awaiting your response.

Sincerely,
Fred
Logical-Master

Pro

My opponent rebuts my point concerning increased academic motivation by claiming that it would simply be unfair. His reasoning behind this is that parents will have to pay for a tax increase in order for this new program to function and that children of their own will never see a dime of that money. I'm not entirely sure what he means by this, but since I only have 2 more rounds (including this one) of actual debate, I'll address the different possibilities which he may be getting at.

If his point is that parents who have children in private schools will never see a dime of this, it is hardly unfair. Keep in mind that parents already have to pay taxes to insure the finances of their cities public schools. Not to mention that being able to send their children to a private school would likely suggest plenty of financial stability on their part. Basically, if my opponent wishes to attack the reasoning of increasing taxes to make this program function through his method, he will also have to attack the reasoning used to justify parents (who send their children to private schools or parents who simply don't have children that attend the city's public schools) paying money to insure the financial stability of public schools in the first place.

Now if my opponent is instead referring to the fact that not every student will be eligible for this "student payment program", this is hardly an effective point for his case. Keep in mind that this payment can only be qualified through a student getting "good grades." In other words, a student will have to earn this payment through the process of hard work. Now is it possible for every student to get good grades and receive payment? Of course, but is it likely? No. However, the fact of the matter is that every student has a FAIR chance of being qualified for this program. So this foul play which my opponent insinuates is simply not the case by any means whatsoever.

As for a student's incentive, I would like to remind my opponent of his own words earlier on in his round 1 argument. Observe:

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. . . it is the loss of drive and work ethic that has made our country fall well below education levels of countries across the world.
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My opponent points out that our country falls well below education levels of countries across the world. Surely, it is fair to suggest that the simple incentive of EVENTUALLY having a bright future isn't enough to promote success. People prefer immediate results for their work and simply having to wait so many years is typically what causes students to give up on high school or college and take the easy way out by getting an ordinary low paying job.

My opponent then follows by comparing scholarships to the New Incentive program. Now since terms such as "difficult" and "simple" are highly subjective, I would advise that you dismiss the 4th characteristic which my opponent lists in both.

Before I go on to my main point regarding this rebuttal, I must state that my opponent's scholarship synopsis is a bit misleading as many scholarships (even full scholarships) can be earned through non-academic means (high ranking skills in high school sports have often been the means of a "slacker" getting into a high ranking college while having to pay little to no money). The Incentive program has an advantage over scholarships in that it would purely require academic success in order for desired results to be achieved.

At any rate, to address his comparison, the primary difference between the two programs is that scholarships often require more academic work than what this new incentive program would require, but that doesn't weaken my point by any means. College is a far higher level of academics than high school, so it's only necessary that more work would be required in order to gain any benefits. That said, my point was that the underlying principle of both was virtually the same: If you work hard, you are granted with beneficial and/or immediately usable rewards.

My opponent claims that this is none other than a selfish government action intended to aid its appearance. Whether or not that is the case, the only crucial aspect of this matter is the good it would do for the people. And as I've shown, it would do plenty of good for the people whom the government is required to serve.

My opponent states that it is the parent's job to reward their children rather than the schools. In response, I advocate that school rewards are a means of better preparing children for the inevitable; there comes a day when the children become independent adults who will have to rely on themselves rather than their parents. Through earning money based on their actions, the benefit will be something very crucial to the standards of our society: Independence and maturity.

As for this program offering a small amount of money, I believe it was my opponent who suggested that children could earn up to $500 a year in his opening argument, so only receiving the kind of sum which he mentioned is simply not the case by any means.

I apologize for not being able to say more, but I'm on a tight schedule (hence my late response). Like my opponent, I have classes to attend and a plethora of time which I am required to devote to my studies.
Debate Round No. 2
Conspicuous_Conservative

Con

My opponet has brought up a few good points but I find through many of his lengthy explinations he spends entirely to much time re-stating his same points. I will conclude this debate by adressing the following important topics relating to the topic we have been discussing.

- Yet another entitlement program.

- Stereotypes of children that attend private school.

- The erosion of the will of the American child.

It is no secret that our economy is fractured, in fact the economy has become the number one issue during the presidential primary elections. This economical strife exsists despite a strong job market and a very low unemployment rate. Now many jump and say well the reason the economy is the way it is, is because the war. Even though the war has become a very costly economical drain it is not the sole reason we are in the financial trouble we are in. Entitlement programs have a long record in the US failing and sucking up tax payers like a vacuum.
Examples:

* social security- Has been failing for decades now and when the baby boomers finally retire by 2012 we will all feel the hurt.

* Welfare- This program takes millions each year and hands it to people, sometimes for making the wrong choices. Rewarding people in this manner has really given people incentive to get really comfortable failing in life.

* Foreign aid to countries like the 30 billion to Africa has led us no closer toa cure and honestly what assurance do we have this money reaches the people.

I have only listed a handful of entitlement programs if you couple multiple programs in addtion to entitlement in the form of education it is yet another program that we cannot afford.

I have either failed to show my opponent the lack of morality being taught to children or he doesn't feel that it is that big a problem. Ultimately the voters will decide the winner, should we sign another law that further gives the government the ability to raise your child? Should we also give some children rewards while excluding others from the same incentives? Now my opponent continues to state that this bonus of 20-50 dollars a semester is going to keep a child from dropping out of school which I find laughable. If a child doesn't have the disipline to make it through 12 years of education and the 3-6 years most people spend in college do you really think that a little a handful of money will stop them from dropping out. Another important thing my opponent left out is what will happeb to children's grades after this program is pulled. We will have children with no more incentive to get good grades. Can we really expect children to continue hard work without pay?

Now my opponent has made the stereotype that children attending private school must come from rich families. His statement is a blanket statement coming from someome who doesn't know exactly how private schools work. I went to a private school for my high school years and my parents wanted me too go because of education. I got lucky because I got a full ride for a baseball scholarship. now my family is far from rich making about a couple of thousand above the poverty line. So please the statement that all children in private school are rich is false. I have had friends enter school due to academic scholarships and others work off their tuition through community service. Before you exclude the children in private school because you feel they do not deserves to receive the same incentive, because in your words they are "financially secure" I would like you to first investigate in the private school business before you villainize the industry.

I would like to really thank my opponent he has done a good job presenting his side of the issue. I feel that may social programs are created with good intentions, so maybe I was a little harsh stating greed as the main reason for this. This law is not fair, it takes from the tax payers benefits a percentage and excludes others. We need to stop given people entitlements and encourage them to work because as many people know, "you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he will eat for a life time."
Logical-Master

Pro

My opponent first states that I spend too much time re-stating my same points, however, you (the audience) must keep in mind that my opening round was used primarily for the purposes of clarification. The criteria of the Pro's (my) round 2 was consisted of expansions of arguments I made in round 1 (due to what I learned in my opponents round 2) and primarily the negation of the arguments which my opponent had presented. Being the contender, this is my job.

With that said, I will start by refuting my opponent's arguments and will then address the reasons as to why you (the audience) should vote for my case).

My opponent states that the program proposed in the resolution is like the entitlement programs of the past and is therefore bound for failure, but his argument unfortunately suffers from the fallacy known as "false analogy." The program in the resolution greatly differs from the programs which my opponent mentioned. Let us address each of them.

Re Social Security: The incentive program mentioned in the resolution greatly differs from social security in that the government is obligated to provide it to individuals regardless of what individuals do. Unlike SS, equivalent exchange is at work in the incentive program mentioned in the resolution; in order to receive payment, you must always maintain good grades; to get paid, your work effort must be superior to all expectations.

Re Welfare: Like SS, the government is obligated to provide it and there is no equivalent exchange at work. Contrary to the new program
proposed in the resolution, Welfare can encourage laziness. As my opponent suggest, it can give people the incentive to get really comfortable through failing at life. In the program mentioned in the resolution, the value of success is upheld as good grades are necessary in order to get paid. If your work isn't qualified as the best, you don't get paid.

Re Foreign aid: Again, there is no equivalent exchange at work. Like welfare, the money is given out of pity and is not earned by the receivers. This differs for the same reason the previous two programs differ.

That said, one crucial difference between this program and those programs is that districts have the option of employing it. Yes, if you'll notice the resolution, it contains the words "districts" and "allowed." Obviously, not all districts will employ this program. My point? Districts will not be coerced to take up this program. If a district cannot afford this program, it can simply refuse it.

My opponent goes back to the issue of this being a program that will give the government the ability to raise your child, but I've already rebutted this argument in my previous round (with my argument which encouraged the value of Independence and maturity), so dismissal is warranted.

My opponent employs argumentum ad misericordiam (appeal to pity) by bringing up that some children will not be eligible to receive payment in this program, but I've also addressed this in round 2 (with the benefits of the program having to be earned and the private school argument), so this is yet again something which you are warranted to dismiss.

My opponent commits the strawman fallacy by telling that I am continuing to state that a bonus of 20-50 dollars per semester will keep a child from dropping out, but as you can see in round 2, I had advocated (what my opponent had brought up in round 1) that a bonus of 500 dollars a year would be beneficial in helping students choose correctly when it comes to staying in school. Since 500 dollars is 10x the max amount my opponent brings up, this is hardly a "little handful of money" as my opponent insinuates. And since my opponent has not raised any objections to there being any problems with the sum of hefty sum of 500 dollars, you are warranted to conclude that he accepts it as a reasonable sum of money.

My opponent argues that I have not considered what will happen AFTER this program gets pulled. I will not consider this objection as my opponent's premise for this is fallacious. Here, he commits the slippery slope fallacy.

My opponent's argument:

1)The program in the resolution might occur.

2)If it occurs, its cancellation will inevitably happen.

3)If that happens, students will lose all of their incentive to do hard work in life.

4)Therefore, the program mentioned in the resolution should not be allowed.

This is slippery slope because premises 2-3 are baseless conjecture on my opponent's part.

My opponent yet again commits the strawman fallacy by insinuating that I stated that "All children in private school are rich."

The following is what I actually stated on this matter: "Not to mention that being able to send their children to a private school would likely suggest plenty of financial stability on their part." Through observation of this statement, it is not only made known that I don't mean to define all private school parents as being rich, but that I don't even insinuate that mostly "rich" parents are the ones who send their children to private schools. My point was that the parents who send their children to private schools have plenty of financially stability. In other words, these parents can send their children to private schools without having to make any large detrimental sacrifices in terms of how their income is distributed in their households.

Clearly, by this terminology, individuals who were in my opponent's place are not excluded. Having gone to a private school myself, I am fully able recognize exceptions such as his. However, the reason many private schools are able to make exceptions such as this is because they can afford to; the typical student does not excel as high as my opponent (and some of his friends) did and must therefore pay the normal tuition required.

I apologize if I gave you (the audience and my opponent) the impression that I "villainized" (sic) the private school industry. By no means do I believe I did so, but I apologize if that impression has been made.

Now, my opponent has dropped my "incentive program having the same merits as the scholarship program" argument, thus you are warranted to extend it.

Closing statements: I believe we have exhausted all avenues of this debate. As I've shown, many of my opponent's arguments suffer from logical fallacies. As one may or may not know, on weak/flawed premises, an argument can never stand. I have done my job in illustrating how the program mentioned in the resolution would be very beneficial if allowed and I have refuted all of my opponent's objections. Therefore, I urge that you vote in favor of the con.

I had fun with this debate and thank my opponent for doing a good job at illustrating his case. I agree with my opponent on the matter of many social programs failing regardless of their good intentions, but as I've shown, this program greatly differs from those other programs. The benefits of this program are the same as the benefits brought about in my opponent's quote. Instead of merely being given a fish, a man earns it. And in knowing what it takes to earn a fish, the man can continue to earn it for a life time.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by TRBbcu3 9 years ago
TRBbcu3
This is out of hand. We all know who this is being set up for: the Blacks. Every thing falls into place. Blacks are more likely to fail out of school than any other race (fact). Blacks bring in less income than any other race (fact). I'm not trying to sound racist but it's the only way to show how racist this proposal is. The proposal itself is bribery. The African-American community itself should push their children to do well in school and pursue a successful life. They try to blame the schools which influenced the No Child Left Behind act, when the problem starts at home. I am 14 years old and I see it every day.
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
You have convinced me that tax money would not ba an issue.
Posted by TJBric 9 years ago
TJBric
I'm in Rhode Island. I don't think that it was something being presented to be used here I just think the radio show I mentioned was discussing the concept of it in general because of the newspaper article.
Posted by Conspicuous_Conservative 9 years ago
Conspicuous_Conservative
Hey TJ what state are you in? Under your premiss I would be for it, if it where fully privately funded and if they ask the parents. I can live with that.
Posted by TJBric 9 years ago
TJBric
Harlan,

The idea proposed would be privately funded, so no need to worry about tax payer money. I've heard it discussed a lot on my local talk radio station (based on it having come out in the same newspaper article being mentioned here) and though at the base of it all I disagree with the concept...I can't totally oppose the idea.

1) Privately funded, not out of taxpayer's pockets.
2) Only goes to selected children who's parents approve of it.
Posted by Conspicuous_Conservative 9 years ago
Conspicuous_Conservative
you bring up an awesome point harlan. I wish many other people would see it the way you see it we are not teaching children the lesson of hard work we are teaching them instead the quickest way to make a buck.
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
I've actually never head of this idea, but it seems like a waste of tax money.

I think that schools should not teach kids the message of "do things because you'll make a profit" I think they should explain WHY there is a necessity for them to be educated, and the REAL impoortance, instead of just handing them some cash.
Posted by Conspicuous_Conservative 9 years ago
Conspicuous_Conservative
No need to apologize we all have things to do my friend look forward to hearing from you.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
I've got class right now, but should be able to respond within 2 hours. Till then! :D
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